Mayfield: Despite what you’ve heard, the new Seattle city council isn’t failing…yet

Mar 28, 2024, 8:32 AM | Updated: Apr 25, 2024, 3:49 pm

seattle city council...

The seven winning candidates from November’s General Election being sworn-in as Seattle City Councilmembers. (Photo courtesy of Seattle City Council Blog)

(Photo courtesy of Seattle City Council Blog)

The left-wing activists and chattering classes have already decided the new Seattle City Council is a failure.

A local public radio host predicated an entire show recently on how the newly elected councilors had already broken campaign promises because they haven’t filled the city budget hole yet. An independent liberal journalist recently called out the council for asking too many questions. A former left-wing candidate for city-wide office used social media to rebuke the council as “dark.”

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I listened to, read and thought about all these criticisms. I often agree with many of the ideas and arguments put forward by the progressive movement in this region, but I am also willing to listen to the pragmatic — and god-forbid even the conservative — voices among us when they have rational and logical policy arguments to make.

Which is why I find this attempt to delegitimize the new city council — barely three months into its new term — troubling. The left wing had its council for a decade and it did bring us many great advances like worker protections, wages and fairer taxation, but it also didn’t solve many of our systemic issues like crime, addiction and housing the unhoused.

Elections have consequences and voters resoundingly said they wanted a change. That change means new voices and new ideas. Yet, out of power, the chattering classes are still preaching dogmatic rhetoric and purity tests ever more feverishly.

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The new city council is not a failure … yet. Give them time to actually work and then judge them on that work. It’s possible they will fail. It’s also possible they may succeed. Either way, right now might be a great time for less chattering and more listening on all sides.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Mayfield: Despite what you’ve heard, the new Seattle city council isn’t failing…yet